Family Law for Real Housewives: Is It About Tom?

 

There are certain events so major that you vividly remember where you were when you heard the breaking news. One of those milestone events was about Tom and his split from Luann.

 

We’ve been through 2 seasons showcasing their relationship, between the yacht, Palm Beach, scoring a ring, illicit events at the Regency, and warnings from friends and frenemies alike. Luann gushed about Tom as her “rose.” Meanwhile, Tom compared his wedding ring to a “dog collar.” Miked. On camera.

 

Nevertheless, the divorce – after only a matter of months of marriage – hit as shocking news.

 

Page Six reported that Tom and Luann “jointly” filed for divorce. But let’s clear this up for you readers out there. There’s no such thing as jointly filing for divorce. Remember the basics – there’s a plaintiff and defendant. And, by the way, it typically doesn’t matter who is who in a divorce suit.

 

In New York, divorces are usually started in one of two ways. Either one party can formally file for divorce (by Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint). Or a party may notify the other spouse about his/her intention to divorce and get attorneys on board. In the second instance, a formal filing may not take place until there’s a bump in the road, it’s warranted for strategic purposes, or to get the ball rolling when a settlement is on the horizon.

 

Where does all this go down? In New York, divorces don’t happen in Family Court. It’s a misnomer. They happen in Supreme Court.

 

And, if things go smoothly, you can get divorced in New York without ever appearing before a judge or setting foot in a courtroom.

 

Stay tuned for the next edition, the “Quickie: What about an Annulment?”

 

Rebecca A. Provder, Esq. is a partner in the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group at Moses & Singer LLP, 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10174, 212-554-7628, rprovder@mosessinger.com.

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